Ami's Reviews > About That Night

About That Night by Julie James
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: romance
Read from April 03 to 04, 2012

Kyle gazed down at her. “I lied when I said I followed you to the bar because you’re hot.” He touched her cheek. “I saw you laughing with your friends, and your smile sucked me right in.”

*hand on heart*

The story opens with scenes from nine years ago, when 23-year-old law student, Rylann Pierce, met then 24-year-old computer science Ph.D candidate who also happens to be a billionaire's son, Kyle Rhodes, at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign's campus bar. The two hit it off, Kyle offered to take Rylann for a walk home and a dinner date, only to bail out that date without any explanation. Fast forward nine years later, Kyle is "The Twitter Terrorist", ready to face a motion call that will set him free, and handling the trial, just entering the Chicago justice arena, is AUSA Rylann Pierce ...

I know, from the moment I read those scenes from 9 years ago, this will be in slightly different tone than the first two books. Those two books, starring FBI agents as the heroes, have a sense of thriller/suspense to it, though the romance is stronger. This one, though, the hero is an ex-con, while the heroine is a prosecutor, and it's purely contemporary romance. Still, it has everything right, everything good, and it even has me all teary-eyed on one scene, I'm all aware that this is my favorite title (yet) from the FBI/US Attorney series.

Both Kyle and Rylann actually enter the relationship with a failed previous one. Kyle was dumped by his model girlfriend, which of course leads him to the infamous Twitter event. Rylann's ex-boyfriend decided to leave for Italy, without consulting her, and announced he wasn't exactly sure about marriage. Which lead Rylann's move to Chicago in the first place.

HOWEVER, none of these characters are jaded or sarcastic or sworn off romance, which easily become a trope in this genre. In fact, they do realize that they still have that attraction going from nine years ago, and decide to act on it. It's so good to read ...

Both Kyle and Rylann are on equal ground. I always find that this is a balance that not easy to find in a contemporary romance. It's not easy to explain either. But sometimes, even if the female is portrayed as independent, I feel like there's not enough balance between them. Not here though. In fact, all of Julie James's characters on FBI/US Attorney series are refreshingly equal.

Kyle is a good man, intelligent man, who doesn't come off as arrogant asshole. He knows he has done a stupid thing, he faces the consequences with head held high. He knows that there will be people who high-five him or insult him. He takes that as a matter-of-fact.

While Rylann climbs her way into the U.S. attorney office without being a bitch or stand-offish. She knows what she's doing, she's smart, but doesn't come out as defensive on her job. And while the issue about her being a prosecutor and Kyle is an ex-con puts a slight halt to the relationship near the end, when Rylann realizes her feeling, she acts on it with integrity. Yes, she knows that there will be talks, but she loves Kyle and she takes whatever happens. PERFECT!!

The reason why Kyle stood Rylann up for that dinner date nine years ago was NOT AT ALL LAME!! It was one of my pet peeves when it comes to this kind of setting. But nope, it's all perfectly understandable ... and in fact, it leads to one scene that gets me all teary eyed, when Kyle explains this to Rylann.

I loooove the family scenes between Kyle, his father, and his twin-sister Jordan (who is the heroine in the second book). I also enjoy the camaderie between Kyle and his friend, Dex, and even the two heroes from previous book, Nick and Jack. Rylann also has a great friendship going with her best friend, Rae, and a colleague, Cade Morgan. One of my favorite Kyle-Jordan scene will be this:

Okay, whatever. Maybe he was trying to impress Rylann a little. “You don’t think it’s too much? Like I’m trying too hard?”

Jordan put her hand over her heart again. “Oh. It’s like watching Bambi take his first steps.”

So FRICKIN' cute!!!

The secondary characters shine. Those people I mention above are great to read too, without taking spotlight from our main characters. In fact, I end up wondering which of those characters will be the star of book #4 coming in 2013. Maybe Rae and FBI Special Agent, Sam Wilkins? He's an African-American, by the way, which will be good to have on contemporary romance.

The story also feels so current and modern. There's talk about Starbucks, Twitter, The Good Wife, The Hunger Games movie ... when it's contemporary, it's DEFINITELY contemporary. I love it!

... okay, this is a looong opinion. But I tend to ramble when I enjoy a book so much ^_^.
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37.0% "heeee, a mention of The Good Wife, which is one of my favorite tv shows :-)" 3 comments
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Norma You're review has me super excited to read this. I'll be downloading it tonight and starting it this week for sure!

Anne OK I just started reading this one this afternoon and already Kyle has stolen my heart! True to her trademark, JJ has given readers another winner filled with all the things we've come to expect in her books.

message 3: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami @Norma: I gobbled up the book, easily. Kyle is just awesome

@AnneOK: Kyle stole my heart in book #2. In this book, he completely owns it :D

Mandapanda I'm so glad you liked it. One of my other GR friends was underwhelmed and I was a bit worried. I'm off to read it now.:D

message 5: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami @MandyM: Well, now you get opinion from two different perspectives :p. I can't help it, I think this one is perfect and Kyle just steals my heart with his kindness and grit. He might not be FBI agents (like Jack and Nick) but his story is not less important. He went to prison, for God's sake!

Mandapanda I thought you might like this interview with Julie James:!

ElaineY I forgot to check whether it was released (darn house move!) so I'm reading this as soon as I'm done with the current MM.

message 8: by Tri (new)

Tri Sukmawati Romantic story ;) want to see l

message 9: by Tri (new)

Tri Sukmawati Romantic story ;) want this story may soon be filmed..:)

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